Journal of Professional Nursing

History of the child health and development book Part 2: 1945 - 2000

Jill Clendon, RN, PhD, MPhil (Hons), BA, Nursing Policy Advisor/Researcher, New Zealand Nurses Organisation, Nelson, NZ, Adjunct Professor, Victoria University, Wellington, NZ
Karen McBride-Henry, RN, PhD, Associate Research Fellow, Victoria University, Wellington, NZ

Reference:  Clendon, J. & McBride-Henry, K. (2014). History of the child health and development book, Part 2: 1945 - 2000. Nursing Praxis in New Zealand, 30(2), 5-17. 


This is the second part of a historical review of the New Zealand child health and development record book (also known as the Well Child/Tamariki Ora Health book or Plunket book).  It focuses on the years between 1945 and 2000.  The first article highlighted how the book documented the development of "scientific mothering", which marginalized women-generated mothering knowledge.  The present article highlights how during the reviewed time period women began to challenge notions of "scientific mothering", these changes are signaled in the content of the Well Child/Tamariki Ora Health book over time.  In addition, women's movements, such as LaLeche league and Parent Centre, reflected significant societal changes during this era in relation to mothering and child-rearing practices, the influence of which had a significant impact on the Plunket book's development.  However, tensions between health professionals and women in relation to the value placed on types of knowledge continued to exist as evidenced by the language employed in the Plunket books throughout the time period reviewed.  Being mindful of the tensions that exist between competing discourses and knowledge sources is important as they call us to engage with how we value and develop our relationships with women and mothers as health care professionals.

Maternal and child health, history of nursing, New Zealand, Plunket, child health and development record book.

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